July 18, 2024
Abstract: Understanding how thermodynamics operates at small scales, where fluctuations are significant and quantum behaviour arises, may reveal possibilities for entirely novel technologies. We can explore thermodynamics in this limit by combining exquisite control over mechanical degrees of freedom and the quantum states of confined electrons. I will show how to detect the displacement of a carbon nanotube approaching the standard quantum limit near the phonon ground state [1-2]. With quantum dots embedded in a carbon nanotube, we were able to explore the impact of electron tunnelling in the nanotube’s mechanical energy, evidenced by the excitation of coherent self-oscillations [3]. I will discuss the potential of these findings to pave the way for experiments on quantum thermodynamics, in particular, for direct measurements of work exchange. References [1] N. Ares et al. Physical Review Letters 117, 170801 (2016) [2] Y. Wen et al. Applied Physics Letters 113, 153101 (2018) [3] Y. Wen et al. Nature Physics 16, 75 (2020)